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Report: Hawks expected to extend, not trade, De’Andre Hunter

Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 26: De’Andre Hunter #12 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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The Hawks could seemingly trade anyone besides star point guard Trae Young.

And maybe young forward De’Andre Hunter.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

sources told B/R the team is now expected to retain De’Andre Hunter and agree to terms on a long-term contract extension.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this report stems from Hunter and the Hawks already agreeing to terms on a rookie-scale extension. Though those negotiations technically aren’t allowed yet, the NBA does a poor job of cracking down on meaningful tampering. Good luck stopping a team from discussing an extension that can be signed in a few weeks with its own player.

Hunter’s stock fell this season, as he got hurt early then never found his groove. He looked far better last season…. when healthy. Injuries derailed him last year, too.

At his best, the 6-foot-8 Hunter is a long, mobile and physical defender who can hit 3-pointers or attack closeouts for mid-rangers. The 24-year-old still has the shine of Atlanta trading up to pick him No. 4 in the 2019 NBA Draft.

But health issues and last season’s regression dampen his value. Both sides might be comfortable with an extension that offers Hunter financial security but give the Hawks a bargain if he stays healthy and gets back on track. Even keeping Hunter without an extension might be preferable to selling low on him.

If looking for an Atlanta trade, keep a closer eye on John Collins.